Alexandra Feodorovna, born Charlotte, Princess of Prussia, (July 13, 1798 - November 1, 1860) was Empress consort of Russia.
Charlotte Prinzessin von Preußen portrait by Gerhard von Kügelgen
She was the wife of Tsar Nicholas I, and mother of Tsar Alexander II. Alexandra Feodorovna was born on July 13, 1798 at the Charlottenburg Palace, as Princess Frederica Louise Charlotte Wilhelmina of Prussia. She was the eldest surviving daughter and fourth child of Frederick William III, King of Prussia, and Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and a sister of Frederick William IV of Prussia and of Wilhelm I, German Emperor. Princess Charlotte's childhood was marked by the Napoleonic Wars. After the French defeat of the Prussian army, Princess Charlotte and her whole family were forced to flee to East Prussia, where they were given protection by Tsar Alexander I. Soon, Berlin fell under Napoleon’s control, and Princess Charlotte grew up in war-torn Memel, Prussia. Her mother died in 1810 shortly after Charlotte’s twelfth birthday, and for the rest of her life she treasured her mother’s memory. From her early childhood, Princess Charlotte occupied the first female rank in Prussia as the eldest daughter of her widower father. She would remain attached to Prussia and her family all of her life. In the fall of 1814, Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich of Russia, the future Tsar Nicholas I, and his brother Grand Duke Michael, visited Berlin. Arrangements were made between the two Royal families for Nicholas to marry Princess Charlotte, and on the second visit the following year, Nicholas fell in love with the then-seventeen-year-old Princess Charlotte. The feeling was mutual, "I like him and am sure of being happy with him." She wrote to her brother, "What we have in common is our inner life; let the world do as it pleases, in our hearts we have a world of our own." Hand-in-hand, they wandered over the Potsdam countryside, and attended the Berlin Court Opera. By the end of his visit, Grand Duke Nicholas and Princess Charlotte were engaged. They were third cousins, as they were both great-great-grandchildren of Frederick William I of Prussia. The wedding would not take place for another two years. Some or all of the above information was taken from wikipedia.org. To read more, click here.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_of_Prussia
Empress Alexandra Feodorovna portrait by A. Maliukov, 1836